Tuesday, July 27, 2010


In other news I got my passport renewed today. This was a bit more challenging than you might think.

Canada does not have an embassy in Qatar. I've heard they will be opening one soon but to date nada. So I have to use the nearest embassy, which is in Kuwait. Needless to say it is a bit problematic to fly over there just to drop off some passport documentation. But if you mail everything how do you pay the embassy?

The embassy helpfully told me about a service that most couriers do called “Visa Pak”. The courier will take your stuff to the embassy, pay the embassy fees, then bring your stuff back to you when the embassy has issued your new passport and you reimburse the courier for the costs. Can't argue with that.

Well, I could have once I figured out how much the bloody thing would cost. I went to the courier today to get my shiny new passport and the courier charged me QR 500 on top of the passport fees. That’s US$140! To courier an old passport and a three-page application! For an extra hundred bucks I could have flown to Kuwait myself and at least gotten a trip out of it (well, maybe not, I've had to make two trips to drop off and pick up the passport). Still, I think a $140 is a bit steep.

Anyway, I have a new passport issued from Kuwait City, which should guarantee me "random selection" at most Western airports.


Anonymous said...

join the club!
(of 'randomly selected'!) :D

Glen McKay said...

:D I'm going to Canada via Houston in a month, let's see what happens.